When planning your garden, don’t forget that flowers feed the soul (and the pollinators)! There are many new ornamental plants coming to a garden center near you in 2023. Here are just a few of those eye-catching annual and perennial flowers!
2023 New Annual Flowers
Let’s start with two colorful, heavy-flowering annuals!
- ‘Hula’ begonias are a unique “spreading” type of begonia that spreads at an early stage and with more early flowering. This annual plant is highly branched with lots of small flowers.
It won’t take many plants to fill a basket with color!
This begonia’s trailing habit is perfect for hanging baskets. Coming a range of colors, and growing 10 inches tall and spreading 20 inches wide, they will quickly fill a container or hanging pot with blossoms all season long. Great for sun or shade. Find seeds at Harris and Stokes or order a plant from Select Seeds.
A pop of orange will liven things up, whether in the garden or in a bouquet.
- Try All-America Selections (AAS) winner DoubleShot ‘Orange Bicolor’ Snapdragons. With stunning open-faced double flowers, these snapdragons are perfect in bouquets or as mid-sized flower in your garden—growing 18 to 20 inches tall.
Blooming in full or part sun, they have impressive strong stems that will hold up the weight of its blossoms without staking. They start flowering in just 77 days from seed or 42 days from transplants. Colors blend from orange-red to dusky peach. Cold and heat tolerant, they will give you blossoms all season long, right up to frost! Seeds should be available soon.
2023 New Perennial Plants
- Rich blue Salvia ‘Blue By You’ will complement the orange snapdragon nicely, both in the garden and in a bouquet.
Deep purple salvia is a favorite with pollinators!
Another AAS winning plant, this perennial is hardy in zones 4-9 and will repeat its early blooms all season if kept deadheaded and fertilized monthly. Planted in full sun, it will get 20 inches tall. Look for plants at your local garden center.
- ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ astilbe is a stunning perennial with foliage that steals the show even when it is not in bloom.
This new astilbe blooms later than most to brighten your late summer garden.
The leaves start out yellow with a dark edge in spring and totally darken to deep burgundy as they mature. Plants produce plumes of bright rosy-purple flowers later in the summer. Hardy in zones 4 to 9, plants are 20 inches tall and 24 inches wide. Plant them in moist soil in full sun or part shade. It is a National Garden Bureau Green Thumb Award Winner and is widely available in most garden centers.
- Perennial Plant Association members have chosen Rudbeckia fulgida ‘American Gold Rush’ to be Perennial Plant of the Year.
‘American Gold Rush’ stands up to diseases that could spoil the plants in a hot humid summer.
Everyone loved the old standby Black-eyed Susan ‘Goldsturm’ but it had been known to suffer from disease, especially in regions with hot humid summers. Growing 24 inches tall and wide, this compact new hybrid has thinner, hairier leaves that resist fungal diseases such as Septoria leaf spot. Hardy to zone 4, it will bloom heavily from July thru September and was an AAS winner in 2020. White Flower Farm, Parks, and Bluestone have plants for sale.
Colorful New Foliage Plants in 2023
Foliage plants give you season-long color. Check out these groundbreaking All-America Selections winners.
Showy coleus keep those hard-to-plant shady spots looking colorful from spring to frost.
- Coleus are perfect for filling that spot where color is needed but there is not enough sun for most flowers to blossom well. Plants in the Premium Sun Series from PanAmerican can even be grown in full sun in humid areas of the country but need shade in drier regions to keep their leaves from scorching. ‘Coral Candy’ is the first seed-grown coleus to be named an AAS winner. It forms a full 10-16 inch mound of narrow, dark-edged leaves that have vivid pink centers. Excellent in containers or grown in the ground. Seeds should be available soon.
Eye-catching Colocasia (AKA elephant ears) will add a tropical touch to your garden.
- The University of Hawaii has won the first AAS award given to a colocasia for Royal Hawaiian ‘Waikiki’ and it is a National Garden Bureau Green Thumb Award winner too! The 3X3 foot plant has burgundy stems and big glossy green leaves with dark pink veins on creamy white centers. Perfect for water gardens, large containers, or growing in the ground, it is hardy in zones 8-11. This dramatic tropical foliage plant joins 12 others in the university’s Royal Hawaiian collection. Find it as a plant online or at your local greenhouse or nursery.
That is just a sampling of the intriguing new plants out there for adventurous gardeners to grow. Give something new a try a this year; it might become a favorite!
Looking for the new vegetable plants for 2023? There were so many excellent new varieties that I wrote a separate article. Read “Best New Vegetables Seeds for 2023.”